Yosemite National Park

Our Favourite Spooky Spots Around the World

Halloween is just days away – and how better to get in the mood than with some spook-tacular tales of real-life hauntings? Turn down the lights, break out the candy corn, and tuck in for some seriously eerie stories from our favourite destinations around the world…

 

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Pyramid in Mexico

Once the largest and most important settlement on the Yucatan Peninsula, visitors flock to Mexico’s Chichen Itza to marvel at how well-preserved the ancient architecture is. But a deeper look reveals a darker history. In Mayan culture, noble death was considered a great honour, and human sacrifice was said to appease their Gods.

Many visitors have claimed to spot shadowy figures in areas closed to the public, through pyramid openings and windows. One theory is that they’re the souls of human sacrifice victims; others say they could be priests protecting the ancient site.

Delve into Mayan legend on our Secrets & Civilisations in Mexico tour

 

The Sinister House on Saphi Street - Cusco, Peru

The Sinister House- Saphi Street, Peru

Just blocks from Cusco’s main square, on Saphi Street, there’s a three-story house that’s been abandoned for 70 years. Local legends surrounding the place range from a jealous man killing his lover there, to a large family all found dead with no explanation. More recently, in 2013, a Chilean cult leader accused of killing a child was found hanged in the property.

Over the years, people have reported hearing strange noises and cries from inside the building. Although local residents are mostly unwilling to enter, those who’ve made their way inside have experienced feelings of severe unease and even distress.

Visit Cusco on our Incas and Intrigue in Peru trip

 

Teatro Massimo - Palermo, Sicily

Teatro Massimo- Sicily

The history of Sicily’s capital city already has a bloody history, through its ties to the Sicilian mafia. If you’re looking for a more traditional haunting, though, the Teatro Massimo is said to be haunted by the ghost of a nun, known as ‘La Monachella’.

The controversial project to build the Teatro Massimo involved the destruction of four churches and two convents. It’s said that the building work desecrated the grave of a former Mother Superior, and her spirit haunts the theatre to this day. During the 23 years it took to construct the opera house, many of the original backers died, including the architect– could the curse of La Monachella be the reason?

Explore Palermo on our Street Food & Sunshine in Sicily trip

 

Yosemite National Park, USA

Yosemite National Park

Like any good forest, Yosemite has its fair share of supernatural tales, passed around campfires through the ages. Bigfoot sightings, mysterious deer heads and otherworldy beings all feature, but one of our favourites is a cautionary tale about staying safe on the trails.

According to legend of the Ah-wah-nee tribe, two women were picking berries at the top of one of the park’s numerous waterfalls when a mist rose, pulling one of the women into the churning waters below. The chief blamed an evil spirit, called Po-ho-no, said to claim those who came too close to the waterfall’s edge.

Visit Yosemite on our Sequoias and SUP in California trip

 

‘The Unlucky Mummy’ – Egypt

The Unlucky Mummy

For our final tale, we journey to Egypt – a country already teeming with bandage-wrapped ancient myths and legends, to explore the story of the ‘Unlucky Mummy’. Although the artefact itself can now be found in the British Museum, its story begins in 1860s Egypt, where four Oxford graduates decided to pick up a souvenir of their visit, in the form of the coffin lid of a priestess of Amen-Ra.

On the return trip, two of the graduates died, and a third accidentally shot himself in the arm, resulting in an amputation. The fourth lost his entire fortune (twice), a photographer and porter trying to take a photograph of it died, as did the man translating its hieroglyphs. Throughout the years since, many more people associated with the coffin lid were plagued with bad luck.

Visit Egypt on our Pyramids & Pharaohs in Egypt trip (bringing back a souvenir? Play it safe – we love a fridge magnet…)

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